When my son and daughter were in high school, they started and ran their own boutique selling hip sneakers and premium streetwear clothing which they named “Half-Way Crooks.” They opened an actual storefront but you could of course operate this kind of business totally online.
It’s a really fun business. It’s cool to decide which apparel items you like and want to stock and which ones you really want to showcase. For example, my kids stocked a really sharp-looking black high top sneaker that they sold to 15 year old boys as well as 60 year old women.
Developing a successful boutique is less about selling individual items and more about putting together an environment and a collection of clothing that people want to be part of. In other words, it’s about selling lifestyle. The design of your store and your website, the selection of your apparel, your marketing, and even the appearance of your staff, should all work in concert to sell a lifestyle.
If you are renting a storefront, traffic and especially foot traffic, is critical. Even if you are one block away from the busy streets in town, then you are too far away. When in doubt go for a busy location first, as opposed to a “cute” location or a much lower lease price per square foot.
In fact, I suggest that before you lease a storefront, you personally count how many people walk by each hour during your prime shopping times.
If you are selling online you also need traffic. But in addition you will need to develop a relationship with your audience. Unlike with physical foot traffic to a storefront location, it may take time to get a website visitor to buy from you. So you’ll want to connect with your audience, not just through your website, but also through email or social media.